I vaguely remember my first Brother Jimmy’s experience in New York. It involved some Gator apparel, snow angels, fishbowls, and hoards of Murray Hill locals. The Brickell location isn’t much different, minus the snow. Brickell-ites have welcomed the BBQ spot with open arms and have been flocking to it every Saturday to cheer on their college football teams. Last Wednesday, sober and starving, I decided to check out Brother Jimmy’s for dinner.
The restaurant itself is a Brickell anomaly, with dark wood, neon “MEAT” signs, pigs hanging from the ceiling, and heavy scents of smokey BBQ infiltrating the dining room. It was quite strange to see the typical screaming, trash-talking, wasted alumni (of which I am usually one), replaced by civil, happy diners.We started our feast with the wings. Bro Jimmy’s wings are pretty awesome: sweet, saucy, smokey, and slightly charred with a hint of vinegar. I love wings, but find that most are too oily, rubbery, or just lack the “crack effect” (you know what I’m talking about, that can’t-stop-won’t-stop feeling when you don’t really give a shit if people judge you for inhaling more than your fair share of the community wings). Self control went out the window when I tasted these wings. Same thing happened with the hush puppies.
We tried to pace ourselves for the impending feast, but we couldn’t help it once these little golden-brown nuggets made their way to our table. Crunchy on the outside, steamy, puffy, and slightly spicy on the inside, the dough absorbed the warm maple butter like a sponge. Simply southern and delicious. Definitely order these.
Also, the drinks were strong. I ordered the Grand Stand Margarita (Herradura silver tequila, Grand Marnier, and lime). Ordinarily,I can drink tequila like its water (thank you, Gainesville), but this was a slow sipper. In a good way. Moderately priced an served in a large mason jar, you only need one of these bad boys to make it through dinner (or a football game). I drank it so slowly that the waitress asked if I didn’t like it. Au contraire, my friend. Me likey.
Selecting entrees was easy: I had the wet ribs and my friend had the pulled chicken sandwich. The sides, however, proved more difficult to narrow down. We struggled between the laundry list of mac & cheese, fried Brussels sprouts, BBQ baked beans, sweet potato fries, spiced string beans, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, and candied yams. We ultimately went with mac & cheese, mashed spuds, and Brussels sprouts. The super sweet waitress sensed our indecision and buyer’s remorse and brought us out a plate of candied yams with walnuts to taste.
The ribs were not as fall-off-the-bone as I hoped, but they were super flavorful. The table-side sauces were fantastic and I really appreciated access to both a vinegar-based sauce (yum) and a sweeter option. I didn’t taste the chicken, but apparently anything “pulled” at Brother Jimmy’s is a good bet. And ohh the cornbread. Sweet, sweet, cornbread that came with our entrees. It went down like a brick in my stomach but I savored and enjoyed every bite. It’s goooood.
The sides were tasty, particularly the Brussels sprouts and the candied yams. What’s that saying? Even when it’s bad its still good? I think that’s pizza. And sex. Disagree wholeheartedly. I digress. The mac & cheese was good, not great. It wasn’t as creamy as I like it and had the consistency of Kraft singles. We still ate a majority of it, but the recipe could definitely use some tweaking. Definitely order the yams and the sprouts.
We ended the meal with warm apple pie and ice cream. They brought out the pie with chocolate ice cream. If you’ve never had warm apple pie with chocolate ice cream, don’t. We were confused and kind of sad. I wanted creamy, white vanilla bean-speckled ice cream to melt into the crevices of the pie, which had a nice, crunchy crumble on top of the soft and cinammon-y apples. I assumed they were out of vanilla, and though the chocolate was quite delicious, it was strange, to say the least. Next time I’ll try the key lime pie.
I know there are some haters out there, but let’s face it, Brother Jimmy’s is a much-needed addition to Brickell amongst the sushi spots and mediocre lunch places. We had fun, got a little tipsy, had good service and were sufficiently full when we left without a major dent in our wallets. Don’t come here looking for award-winning BBQ, but definitely come for a cool night out with friends who are looking devour some down-home food that isn’t wrapped in rice and seaweed. It also helps if they’re lushes (think: cocktail fishbowls). I would come back for lunch (or dinner, or for a spicy, bloody mary brunch), especially on game days when they have awesome drink and wing specials.
And they have a ski-ball machine. Need I say more?